July 11th - My dislike of the Arboretum Junction in Walsall knows no end. It seems difficult for most users - be they motorised or human powered. It’s particularly bad for pedestrians, who have to use multiple crossings to cross one road - so a simple negotiation can involve four or five waits. It’s horrid.
I noticed this lady yesterday evening. She was still negotiating the junction when I crossed, and I felt quite sorry for her - by road is the easiest way, but it’s very, very intimidating. Nice bike, though, and it looks well used.
The traffic engineers who thought this batshit crazy junction up should be forced to cross in on foot for perpetuity.
December 7th - I keep seeing complaints on social media about the state of Walsall’s Christmas tree this year. Since the tree has faced a bit of an uncertain future in recent years, I’m surprised we’ve got one at all; and so I thought I’d take the opportunity to check it out. I don’t think it’s too shabby at all, to be honest. Sat in front of The Crossing at St Pauls - the church cum shopping centre by the bus station - it seems to fit well in what is possibly the only public square in Walsall that works architecturally. Seems decent enough to me…
November 29th - Walsall is an odd place architecturally. I love The Crossing at St. Paul’s - the former church cum shopping centre, and the wee piazza outside it where the Christmas tree sits. I don’t mind the bus station - at night, you can see what the architect was getting at. It’s all beautifully lit up… but the paving, the mixture of slate and pale grey granite composite blocks, arranged into stripes, to me at least is horrid. Further into what’s now known as ‘The Civic Quarter’ - ‘We ay pretentious, we’m not’ - there are the most horrid street lighting columns I have ever seen. I think the street furniture and paving - which clash, eye-jarringly - were purchased and some kind of urban designers fire sale. Walsall, on a civic level, does this sort of thing with alarming regularity. Weird.